Wild Oceans!

Wild Oceans!

By: Vance G. Martin The great Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica is one of the planet’s most important marine habitats, upon which many of the other oceans,  seas and marine wildlife depend.  In October 2011, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called for the creation of a network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves in 19 specific areas.  A keystone in this plan is their proposal to designate the Ross Sea, the huge horseshoe shaped area south of New Zealand and surrounded on three sides by Antarctica, as a 3.6 million sq kilometer protected marine reserve.  This is an unprecedented opportunity to establish the world’s largest network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves.  Sylvia (Earle) is one of the real movers in this Alliance and on this initiative, along with Edward Norton and Richard Branson.  This is Nature Needs Half in action and everyone can help!  AOA has created a “Join the Watch” campaign, and you can sign on now, download the report and see a great video here. Speaking of marine, have you heard what Sylvia Earle says about Nature Needs Half? >Antarctic Ocean Alliance Launch Press...

Social Indicators Research 2011

By: Alan E. Watson, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station The Role of Wilderness Protection and Societal Engagement as Indicators of Well-Being: An Examination of Change at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Abstract: A societal decision to protect over 9 million acres of land and water for its wilderness character in the early 1960s reflected US wealth in natural resources, pride in the nation’s cultural history and our commitment to the well-being of future generations to both experience wild nature and enjoy benefits flowing from these natural ecosystems. There is no question that our relationship with wilderness has changed. Individually it is probably quite easy to examine differences in the role wilderness plays in the quality of our lives today compared to some previous time. But how the role of wilderness protection has changed for society is more difficult to describe. In only a few places do we have data across multiple decades that would allow us to even examine how users or their use may have changed over time. At the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota we are fortunate to have multiple studies that can give us some 40 years of insight into how some aspects of use have changed there. For example, an analysis of results of visitor studies at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 1969, 1991 and 2007 reveal some big differences in who is out there today, most notably the presence of a much older, more experienced and better educated user population, almost exclusively white and predominantly male. It is time to decide...
Australia Continental Corridors Plan

Australia Continental Corridors Plan

By: Vance G. Martin The first continental scale plan for ecological corridors has been produced in Australia, and is now out for comment. Members of The World Commission on Protected Areas of the IUCN were the driving force. Our colleagues at the Mountain Biome Working Group of WCPA have made further information available. Here is a brief overview from Penny Figgis, Regional CoChair of WCPA: The WCPA network played a major role over the last 6 years in championing the connectivity concept through submissions, letters, personal representations and being centrally involved in key meetings, such as the two Linking Landscapes Forums, and the drafting of major documents such as the Kingscliffe Communique. Individually, many members have been the pioneers, scientists, policy experts and overall champions of the concept of integrated landscape approaches as a whole and of particular initiatives. (Many people over) many years of outstanding work brought us to this point of major national policy endorsement. The draft report to the Australian Government Minister for the Environment, The Hon Tony Burke MP, was prepared by the National Wildlife Corridors Advisory Group, a Group which was chaired by the Hon Bob Debus AM and supported by other WCPA members including Vice Chair for Mountains and Connectivity Graeme Worboys and Prof. Brendan Mackey. This is the first whole-of-continent approach to connectivity conservation for the world and recognises a range of different corridors at different scales , including, importantly, a few select and strategic (yet to be designated) National Wildlife Corridors. The draft report also advises that new Legislation is proposed to be introduced later this year to formalise the implementation...

Bolder Thinking for Conservation

Bolder Thinking for Conservation, Conservation Biology, Volume 26, No. 1, 2012. Noss et al Reed Noss and others  make a new statement in Conservation Biology concerning the need for large and interconnected protected areas at least half their original size. >>Read the...

CPAWS Conservation Plan: 50% At Least

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, 2007 CPAWS Conservation plan calls for at least 50% of Canada’s public lands and waters to be protected. This number is based on the best available science about what is necessary to keep vibrant evolving ecosystems and all the species that inhabit them alive through time. It also represents the belief that our one species can share the earth with all the others. >>Read the entire Conservation...
Saving Nature’s Legacy: Protecting and Restoring

Saving Nature’s Legacy: Protecting and Restoring

Reed F. Noss and Allen Y. Cooperrider in Saving Nature’s Legacy: Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity (Island Press, Washington, D.C., 1994) Noss & Cooperrider reviewed many conservation planning initiatives and determined that between 25% and 75% protection was necessary to maintain ecological integrity. Written by two leading conservation biologists, Saving Nature’s Legacy is a thorough and readable introduction to issues of land management and conservation biology. It presents a broad, land-based approach to biodiversity conservation in the United States, with the authors succinctly translating principles, techniques, and findings of the ecological sciences into an accessible and practical plan for action. After laying the groundwork for biodiversity conservation – what biodiversity is, why it is important, its status in North America – Noss and Cooperrider consider the strengths and limitations of past and current approaches to land management. They then present the framework for a bold new strategy, with explicit guidelines on: Inventorying biodiversity Selecting areas for protection Designing regional and continental reserve networks Establishing monitoring programs Setting priorities for getting the job done Throughout the volume, the authors provide in-depth assessments of what must be done to protect and restore the full spectrum of native biodiversity to the North American continent. Buy this...
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